The shadow of the upcoming civic elections loomed over Saturday's standing committee as the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), joined by other political parties, demanded that the cut-off date for rehabilitation of all project affected persons (PAPs) be extended to 2000. This comes weeks after Congress city chief Kripashankar Singh said the Congress-led Democratic front government would ensure protection of slums up to 2000 through an ordinance.
Incidentally, the Shiv Sena decided to keep mum at the discussion. Currently, except for the Brimstowad project, the civic body considers January 1, 1995 as the cut-off for all other projects. For PAPs of the Brimstowad project, the civic body has kept 2000 as the cut-off.
BJP corporators, led by Ashish Shelar, made the demand while discussing a new policy proposed by the civic body to rehabilitate commercial PAPs affected due to road widening projects. According to the proposed policy, the civic body wants to monetarily compensate those PAPs who do not wish to take alternative accommodation offered by the civic body. The policy extends the benefit to all structures built up to 1995.
HT had first reported about this policy in its March 12, 2011 edition.
Opposing this aspect, Shelar said, "Currently, the MMRDA's rehab policy offers relief to structures built up to 2000. Then, why can't the BMC's cut-off date be the same? There cannot be two different cut-off dates for people living in the same city."
Additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta, however, ruled out extending the date. "Extension of the cut-off date is not in the scope of the policy. But, we need this policy urgently as many crucial road projects are affected over such rehab issues."
Corporators then decided to put off decisions on the policy till the next meeting, on December 21.